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Gabby Ogiste


As a teenager I…

Was always wanting to be older than I was, trying and seeing and experimenting with new things and people. I was creative at school – I loved fine arts and creative outlets – I think my mum still has one or two of my secondary school pieces on her walls today. I was very into music and in particular the 90s grunge era – Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana you name it. But I had broader influence and appreciation for music and still do, via my dad, who first brought home a CD Player in about 1988 which me and my 4 siblings thought was amazing! Artists like Tracy Chapman and Dire Straights and Bob Dylan and Jonny Cash were all part of my teenage musical education. I love music to this day although my tastes have definitely evolved (I am looking forward to the Usher concert soon!).

After school I…

Started an Arts degree – only because it was ‘the thing to do’ to go to university. But I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When house-sharing I met my first proper boyfriend and inevitably dropped out of that arts degree. My dad always said I was good with people and would be good in HR – so eventually I went back to college and did an HR course. I was fortunate enough to get a job in a related area for a music royalty organisation. I studied at college whilst working in my first HR role and eventually converted this course into a degree. Whilst halfway through it I moved from Sydney to London and had a supportive first employer (in an HR Operations role) who allowed me to continue my Bachelor of Business degree (majoring in HR) which I eventually completed in 2010 in London remotely.

Now I’m…

A mum to two gorgeous girls and wading through all the challenges and beauty that brings. I am at present on a journey of understanding and supporting tweenage evolution (my eldest) which is interesting and fun but sometimes also really hard. I love to travel and take my girls all around the world – often back to Australia to see their beloved family there. I live in Tottenham in London where the thing I love most about my community is the rich diverse culture. I am passionate about providing a better world for our young people. I let my creative juices flow in a recently acquired allotment which is very tricky to navigate but also hugely rewarding.

5 bits of advice to my teenage self…

  • You are good enough just as you are; never change for anybody except for your own personal evolution.
  • Don’t listen to outside noise – trust your gut, confide in and listen to advice from your close inner circle.
  • There will be things and people that look like they’re having a better time, having a better life. Often looks are deceiving, but also there will always be a larger proportion of people who have less, have more challenges and hurdles; consider your own circumstances and decisions looking at the glass half full and all the opportunities possible.
  • Authenticity is the key to building amazing relationships with people.
  • Be kind. Always. You never know what other people are going through behind the scenes. Nobody is excluded from personal struggles or traumas. Be Kind.

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